Budget date changes
The Chancellor used his first Autumn Statement speech to announce that it would also be his last. Despite this comment being greeted with delight from the other side of the House all was not as it seemed. The Chancellor was actually referring to the government’s decision to switch to an Autumn Budget and a Spring Statement.
This change had been called for by many businesses as well as economics and tax experts. These included the International Monetary Fund, Institute for Government, the CBI, and the Chartered Institute of Taxation. The UK is currently the only major advanced economy to make significant budgetary changes twice a year.
This means that the March 2017 Budget will be the last to be held during springtime with a second Budget taking place next year in Autumn 2017. From 2018, there will be a Spring Statement which is expected to be sharply reduced in scope and to move away from being a mini-Budget. However, the government will retain the option to make changes to fiscal policy at the Spring Statement if the economic circumstances require it. The Budget cycle will continue from Autumn 2018 and beyond.
This change will also mean that the Finance Bill will be introduced following the Budget with Royal Assent expected before the start of the following tax year. This will mean that the majority of tax changes should be announced well in advance of the start of the tax year.